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proposal with 2.5 trillion in spending cuts. team boehner hasn't outright rejected it this time so i guess that's positive. they say the deal is still unbalanced. white house is offering to increase the cutoff of bush era tax rates to $400,000. speaker boen hner said he's willing to let the bush cuts expire on million dollar earners but then boehner met this morning proposed a plan "b" to extend the bush rates for americans earning less than $1 million only. both president obama and senate democrats say that's doa. michael crowly the deputy washington bureau chief of "time" magazine. michael, let's start with this emerging compromise but i think the big piece of it sort of if you're a democrat, the big piece of this potentially is social security. this is at the heart of new deal and the safety net and the heart
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of the proud democratic party and obama looking at here is something called chain cpi. that basically means changing the cost of living formula for social security in a less generous way and cost the average beneficiaries more and more money the longer on social security and basically a benefit cut and a small but regressive tax increase because it would affect the income cutoffs for tax brackets. it strikes me that there could be real problems here for obama in terms of selling it to democrats in congress although i heard nancy pelosi today didn't seem too cool toward it at all. where do you think this stands with democrats right now, this social security idea? >> well, don't like it for the reasons that you say, and it is a regressive way of cutting benefits. you know, social security is also not the biggest budget buster. it really is medicare is the biggest long-term threat. but i think democrats hate a chain cpi adjustment less than
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they hate raising the retirement age for medicare which was a trial balloon we saw and provoked an angry reaction from the left. they may dislike this a little less than they dislike the talk about the retirement age for medicare. you make a good point. there's been so much focus i think appropriately on whether the republican party is capable of accepting higher tax rates and whether the tea party and the junior members of the house are going to stand their ground and kind of shoot down anything boehner proposes on that front, but you have to keep in mind, obama has got to sell it to democrats as well. you can't do this without democrats. so he moves a little bit boehner's way and then he has to worry about his blaflank on the left. >> let's talk about that a little bit. one of the other underlying dynamics we've been talking about is the democrats have the uner hand. if nothing happens, all the tax rates go up and then they're able to just have a bill
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lowering the rates for the people that they want to lower them for. i mean, it's not just the cost of living adjustment that is a compromise here. you also have the president lifting the number from $250,000 to $400,000. you have him giving up on the payroll tax cut ex teng. is this even a good deal for democrats? should democrats accept this deal? should they compromise right now? >> i think a lot of democrats are saying, hey, we just won the election. why is the president the one who is moving? and it is striking, if you look at the polling, it's extremely favorable to the president. i mean, the disapproval of how republicans are handling this situation right now is off the charts, and the support for raising taxes on wealthy americans is off the charts. there is a kind of -- there's like a plurality of a solution here. it's a mix of cutting spending. people want to cut spending and raising taxes, but crucially it doesn't say what the mix should be. when you ask them about specific categories of spending, they say
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no, don't cut defense, don't cut social security, don't cut medicare. it's tough to figure out what the public wants. in general obama has the upper hand. i can understand why the left might be growing increasingly frustrated. we're talking about what boehner can sell to his caucus. i do think liberals hated that medicare retirement age change. change cpi might be more palatable. a lot of people don't completely understand what it means and it might be an easy thing to sell. >> let's talk about thea mt because no one else is. this is a tax so onerous and poorly designed that congress has to patch it every year to avoid bankrupting the middle class. i really like tony's description in forbes, step one, compute your regular tax liability. step two, compute your alternative minute tax liability. step three, take a generous pull of scotch and curse loudly. step four, pay the higher of step one and two. what is going to happen with the
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amt? >> the amt is really important. it might be one of the most important issues that people don't really dig into. we don't talk about it a lot in this conversation, but it does really hit home. people do get blindsided by it. they don't understand it and then it zaps them. i think it's pretty much on the table and to be determined, but it's depressing because washington has been talking about fixing the amt for a decade. >> at least. >> anything they pun, that's it. >> michael crowley from "time," thank you for joining up. coming up next, why s.e. says the current consideration on gun control needs to expand.
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today we touched on three of the issues connected to the newtown tragedy, guns, a culture of violence, and mental hale, but despite those good efforts to take a comprehensive look at the problem, the national policy conversation inevitably reverts back to one issue, gun control, and that conversation is always the same. the left pushes, the right resists. that conversation isn't working. here is why. if you truly believe that guns are the problem, then the only intellectually honest argument is to eliminate them all. focusing only on assault weapons is a cop out. in 2010 a mere 2.8% of homicides were committed withen assault weapon while 42.6% were committed with a handgun and during the ten-year federal ban on assault weapons numerous mass shootings, including columbine, still took place. making it harder to obtain a gun is also confusing the issue. adam lanza stole the guns from his mother.
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gun control advocates should want her guns and all guns banned. would-be murderers don't respect those artificial boundaries. but aside from the constitutional impossibility of eliminating all guns, prohibition hasn't proven to be useful in eliminating much of anything. including illicit drugs and, yes, illegal weapons. there are mass shootings even in countries with the strictest of gun laws and someone intent on killing a lot of people doesn't need a gun to do it. so if we know that banning certain guns won't stop gun violence, that gun-free zones don't protect the people inside them, and that eliminating all guns is impossible and infective, then what workable solutions are gun control advocates actually bringing to want to have a real conversation? a real conversation has to start with the broken mental health
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system that's failing our young people. we have to talk about teen suicide. there are 12 a day. depression and bullying have to be discussed. we have to talk about the over medicating of our children. a lack of access to health care, and resources. instead, we get the knee-jerk call for more gun laws on the left and the knee-jerk defense of guns on the right. that's not a conversation. that's a stalemate. we will have to change, the president told us from newtown over the weekend, and he's absolutely right. we all want to prevent another tragedy. so let's have a real serious conversation about it for once. okay. that does it for "the cycle." martin, it's all yours. >> s.e., i would be interested to hear your response to what jeffrey swanson, professor of psychiatry said when he said we're not even good at preventing minor violence. when you're talking about a mass shooting, that's a needle in the haystack. the mental health issues are not
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that straightforward are they? >> no, they're not. they're incredibly complex. the policies are incredibly complex. there are already laws on the books that do not adequately deal with this, but it's a conversation we need to have and we need to have it more often. >> okay. thank you, s.e., and thank you all of you on "the cycle." good afternoon. it's tuesday, december 18th, and as those killed in newtown are laid to rest, now is the time for action. >> that's the picture. that's the emotion that will pull this thing. >> the voices of reason cannot be silenced. >> record sales of these firearms. >> they advertise armor-piercing bullets. >> enough is enough. >> an ak-15, i'm not sure we need that. >> assault weapons account for less than 2% of the murders in this country. if you're in that 2%, you know,
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believe me, i understand that. >> do they want to be saying two years from now, which they will, and four years from now, as the party of glocks. >> the second amendment culture has been totally

The Cycle
MSNBC December 18, 2012 12:43pm-1:00pm PST

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

program was likely cut short due to a recording issue

TOPIC FREQUENCY Boehner 5, Obama 3, S.e. 2, Washington 2, Nausea 1, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 1, Columbine 1, Aarp 1, Newtown 1, Michael Crowley 1, Adam Lanza 1, Jeffrey Swanson 1, Nancy Pelosi 1, Buster 1, Let 's 1
Network MSNBC
Duration 00:16:13
Scanned in Richmond, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 787 (MSNBC HD)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
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on 12/18/2012